Dogs, Lions set to lay it all on the line for glory
Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault coach Derek Hall and Bunbury coach Jamie Nani are all smiles before they go into battle this Sunday in the 2017 South West Football League grand final. For your detailed guide to the three grand finals as well as likely line-ups, key match-ups and selection dilemmas,
ALL the pressure is on HarveyBrunswick-Leschenault ahead of this weekend’s reserves grand final, according to South Bunbury coach Kane Westbrook.
The Lions are hunting for a number of records this Sunday, including their 40th straight win and a 14th reserves flag.
Westbrook knows his side enters the game as underdogs, but is confident if they bring their scoreboard pressure and tough contested game-style, then they are a chance.
“If we can bring a physical presence and win the contested ball it is anyone’s game,” he said.
“We have it all to win and they have it all to lose.
“The pressure is on them and if we can bring the same gamestyle as we did at the weekend then we will be a chance.
“We need to bring the scoreboard pressure early.
“We haven’t got a lot of pace, but we have a lot of physicality.”
Lions coach John Strano said the winning streak did add some extra pressure.
“It is probably just a figure,” he said.
“It does not mean a lot to me, really.
“I suppose it is no good winning 39 and losing the 40th.”
Strano said playing just one game in three weeks did not concern him.
“We have had some pretty heavy training sessions and had some players who did not play in the semi-final to get ready,” he said.
“We had four training sessions last week and will have three this week.”
Strano said the team would have five changes from the semifinal.
Westbrook said preliminary final hero Dale Wilkinson would be a pivotal part of the team’s success.
“We need him to take marks early and get his confidence up,” he said.
Westbrook said the Tigers could stretch the Lions’ defence, with Wilkinson joined in the forward line by Kale Francis and Jonathan Dix.
“But we will still need our smaller players to be front and centre,” he said.
“It does allow us to send one back if the game is in the balance.”
Strano said the midfield would play a big part, while their forward line of Shannon Sabourne, Chris Strano and Matt Bicknell would cause the opposition trouble.
“Once we get it in there it is hard for the opposition to get it out of there,” he said.
“Our defence has been outstanding as well.
“It is hard to single anyone out as they have all done their job, which is what I wanted from the start of the year.”